We all like to get a bargain, and to know we’re paying the best price for something. It’s human nature, and it’s good business sense. However, price shouldn’t always be the deciding factor when comparing services. With your gas, electricity or insurance, price is usually the be-all and end-all. They’re all essentially the same product, just from a different supplier. Most services, however, should be compared on factors other than price. Web hosting is one such service.
I have been working in the web industry for nearly 20 years and, in that time, have used dozens of different web hosting companies, such as 123-REG, 1and1 Internet, Rackspace, Fasthosts, Heart Internet, EUK Host, United Hosting and many more besides. I can say, with some degree of authority, that not all hosting companies are the same. They vary greatly on server speed, features, customer service, response times, back-ups and many other factors besides price.
For example, what will your hosting company do should your website go down?
A few weeks ago, one of the major UK-based hosting companies, 123-REG, suffered a serious loss of data when it allowed a script to be run on one of its servers that deleted many of the websites hosted with it. This script completely wiped the servers, and left the company with no back-ups. This data loss affected hundreds, possibly thousands, of businesses across the UK as their websites vanished and they were left with no means of recovering them. It was particularly bad news for some website design companies, who faced the awkward position of having to explain to their clients why all of their websites had been deleted.
Over a week later, and many of the affected companies were still without their websites, as 123-REG struggled to recover the data using a data recovery specialist. 123-REG even suggested to its customers that, if they had their own back-ups, it would be quicker for them to reimage their own VPS (virtual private servers). Of course, most clients wouldn’t know what this even means, let alone know how to do it.
How Engage Web does it differently
At Engage Web, we host hundreds of websites and each website is backed up on a daily basis. Should anything happen to any website we host, such as a hack or a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack, we handle the issue ourselves, and don’t expect our clients to fix it. We have even recovered and restored websites that were hosted elsewhere after they have been deleted through accidental error, or through malicious attack.
For example, one of our web hosting clients had their website built by a friend of the family. The website was built cheaply so the web designer could have something for their portfolio to start their career in the field. However, after a falling out, the designer disappeared and deleted the website. This left the business without a website, and no way to restore it. Luckily, we were able to recover the website using a combination of Google Cache and the Way Back Machine, and restored the website to our web hosting environment, where it is now backed up on a daily basis.
Following the issues faced by 123-REG last month, Engage Web also restored another ecommerce website for a client whose website had been deleted in error and was down for a week. Despite repeated attempts to liaise with 123-REG to get a resolution, there was no progress in the website being recovered. Luckily, Engage Web was in the process of designing a new website for the client, and we had taken a full back-up of their existing website a couple of months prior to the site being deleted by the hosting company. With 123-REG unable to recover the website, we put our back-up live on our web server so the website could begin trading once again.
As always, the website receives daily back-ups on our server.
There’s always someone who will do it cheaper
The moral of all of this is simple – you can get very cheap web hosting if you look around for a service based on price. However, the cheaper web hosting often comes with a number of reduced features – one of them being a lack of back-ups, and another of them being a lack of support and customer service. During the issues caused by 123-REG a few weeks ago, many customers were unable to get the support they needed and were told, via a group email notice, that it would be quicker if they restored their own websites from their own back-ups. If you’re happy to make your own website back-ups and you’re able to restore your own website, then the cheaper web hosting services could be just what you’re looking for.
If, however, you’d like someone to handle all of this for you and to ensure your website is online and functioning, then you’d be better off with a managed hosting solution.
To speak with Engage Web about hosting your website, or about recovering your website if you’ve lost it due to a hack, hosting error or deletion, then give us a call now on 0345 621 4321.
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